Phase 1: Posing Real Questions

Updated 2 years 1 month ago

Over the past few weeks, I have spent time researching and narrowing down my topic of study at Microcampus. I have now started Phase 1 and will continue with my selected topic of local food and cuisine. In Phase 0 I did preparation for picking my topic along with research on Xizhou itself. I will now be covering some background knowledge as well and learning on what my topic is all about. 

What I already know about my topic:

I already know that I will learn how to cook local food that is served in the Xizhou village. I know there is a lot of spice and that spicy food is popular in Xizhou. Noodles and potatoes are well liked in the village and many restaurants do not provide menus. I enjoy cooking and look forward to learning how to cook Xizhou cuisine for my peers and family.

Where did I learn these things:

In Phase 0 I had to look at past students work and received some information from their pages. My sister, who also visited Xizhou, could not wait to tell my family about how good the food was only making me more excited. Her excitement made me want to do this topic as well.

What I want to learn about this topic:

I am passionate about cooking and trying new foods and would love to learn how to prepare Xizhou cuisine. I am particularly interested in the spices and how to make them. I am excited to figure out where the food comes from like a coop or a garden. I would like to know how much time and energy is invested in growing and picking the plants. I am curious about what the prices of the food are and what makes them cheap or expensive. This is important to know because we are getting a food allowance of 25¥. The food seems cheap and would I would love to know why.  

I have done some in-depth background research on Yunnan and Xizhou itself and the cultures within. I did this because it will help me further down the road and I will also be able to understand what life will be consisting of in the village. You can see the result of all of my research in Phase 3

I have been thinking and collecting ten big questions that will be the heart of my inquiry project. Under each question in italics is the answers to the possible answers to my questions.

Food in General 

1. Is the majority of the food starch and vegetables?
The majority of the food is starch 
2. What are the most popular dishes for each main course/meal?  breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack, and tea?
Breakfast= Jian bing (Pankake) Lunch= Tafel rice Dinner= Spicy noodles Snack=Xizhou Baba Tea= Green tea
3. What is the most used spice or flavor while cooking?
Sichuan spicy is used most during cooking.  


4. How does religion influence food?
The religion can affect the things people eat and the chiefs will leave it out of their menu. 
5. what are the most common Hui foods?
Spicy noodles are the most common Hui foods.

6. What are the most common Bai foods?
Xizhou baba, cross bridge noodles, and pork.

7. When did the tea ceremony start?
The tea ceremonies started when the tourists started visiting Xizhou. 

8. What does the strange tea consist of?
The strange tea consists of a mixture of tea.

9. Tea- is there steps or a process or even a ceremony to making and serving the tea that’s meant for special ceremonies/ welcoming guests?
Yes because there is a process.
10. Where are the tea plantations?  How much time goes into attending the tea before harvest?
Yes, there are tea plantations and they get tended to 5 hours a day.

I still need to know some information before I can move on. I need to learn more about the tea ceremonies, spice, and how the religion changes the way of food as we know it. I will be investigating all these things when I am out and about. 

I will now be heading on to Phase Two throughout the process of this phase I will be doing research on getting helpful recourses on my topic.

I have had some of my big 10 questions answered. I have had questions 1,4, and 8 answered, if you want to see the answers to these questions go visit my Phase 3 page.


Your Big Questions


I loved reading over your ten "big" questions and hearing your responses. I am curious as to what the spice is that's referred to as Sichuan Spicy. Is it an herb, paste, pepper, mixture? And will you lay out the process to making the ceremonial tea in a later phase? It would be interesting hear the specific steps and will you have the opportunity to do so?

Keep up the good work. Love reading about all your research and learnings in the village of Xizhou!



Dear Mom,


Dear Mom,

I appreciate your questions, when I say Sichuan spicy I mean to say spices that come from the Sichuan province and I will be asking these questions to people within the village so I can get an understanding of it all.  

I had been lucky enough to be able to join the Ultimate group with eight others to go down to the village of Xizhou. I had been able to grow through this experience and learn about my inquiry project and even about myself. I have made bonds and friends with the students on my trip and also the community of Xizhou.